How Laughter and Smiles Can Work in the Classroom
Levity has its uses, especially when interacting with a big group of kids! While it’s important to have a backbone in dealing with classroom mischief, a little bit of laughter can go a long way. Here are some easy ideas for using humor to connect with your students!
Be the First to Laugh and Smile
More so than the students or decor, the teacher sets the tone of a classroom. If you’ve ever come to class tired or cranky, you may have noticed that your students reciprocated your energy. By the same token, students tend to react positively to a teacher with a good ‘tude. Laughing along with your students is as therapeutic as it is effective. Chances are, if you enter and leave your classroom with a smile, your students will, too.
Break the Ice on Day One
First impressions matter. Putting your students at ease on the first day of class may seem like a difficult proposition. All you really need is a cheerful disposition, a funny story and a smile! In addition to preparing your new students for the academia that is to come, play a silly game, show a silly video or find another way to make your students smile.
Teach with Stories
Especially in the younger grades, information is best offered with some context. If that context just so happens to be a funny anecdote, all the better! For the same reason that adult subjects are often packaged into fairy tales and nursery rhymes, lesson plans can be complemented by an accompanying story. Your students are more likely to retain the intricacies of the changing states of matter when your lesson included a story about that one time your shoelaces got frozen to the sidewalk.
Make a Weekly Spectacle of Something Fun
Routine is a powerful thing. Just look at the Pavlovian effect of the recess bell. If you’ve ever tried to keep your students in after the bell has professed their 15 minutes of freedom, you’ve seen firsthand the insuppressible spike in their energy levels. Use routine to your advantage—create a time each week when your students have something funny to look forward to! Whether it’s a Friday afternoon cartoon or start-of-the-week story time, your students will appreciate having a time they know they can joke around.
Laughter is truly powerful. Building a student-teacher relationship on mutual laughter makes the whole process much more enjoyable. Teachers, how do you work laughter into your lesson plan? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below! And don’t forget to follow ECR4Kids on Facebook, Pinterest, or our blog via email for more of these posts!